(2003), "USA. National quality forum reports", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 16 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2003.06216fab.009Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
USA. National quality forum reports
National quality forum reports
Keywords: Quality in health care, Performance evaluation, Patient needs, AHRQ
The National Quality Forum has published two new reports, both of which are based on the consensus of various hospitals and healthcare systems, consumers groups, professional associations, purchasers, federal agencies, and research and quality improvement organisations.
The first report, A Comprehensive Framework for Hospital Care Performance Evaluation provides a road map for directing hospital care performance measure selection and standardized reporting of performance data, and resulted from the recognition that a recent proliferation of initiatives to publicly report the quality of hospital care could lead to an increased burden of measuring and reporting hospital quality, as well as inconsistencies in measurement and reporting that would result in a lack of comparability among reports on hospital care quality. The report's guiding principles and recommendations are unique and establish a uniform approach and standardized criteria to direct hospital quality measurement and reporting.
The report identifies a framework for implementing, reporting, maintaining, and evaluating hospital performance measures, including three guiding principles addressing leadership and strategic issues and 26 recommendations in six key areas:
content of the measure set;
measure evaluation criteria;
improving and updating the measure set;
implementing the measures set;
reporting results; and
review and evaluation.
Its application should eventually lead to a more complete set of measures that fully meets patient needs for information about the quality of healthcare they receive in hospitals. Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, President and CEO of NQF said: "The endorsement of this comprehensive framework for evaluating hospital care performance is groundbreaking. By reaching broad-based consensus on standard processes for measure selection, implementation, and public reporting, we have established – for the first time – a clear framework to drive hospital care evaluation."
The second report, Safe Practices for Better Healthcare: It's Time to Act, funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), identifies 30 patient safety practices that should be universally used in health care settings to reduce the risk of harm resulting from processes, systems, or environments of care, including informing patients that they are likely to fare better if they have certain high-risk, elective surgeries at facilities that have demonstrated superior outcomes; specifying explicit protocols for hospitals and nursing homes to ensure adequate nurse staffing; hiring critical care medicine specialists to manage all patients in hospital intensive care units; making sure hospital pharmacists are more actively involved in the medication use process; and creating a culture of safety in all health care settings.
This report also identified 27 practices that have great promise for reducing adverse events and should have high priority for further research.
AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D said: 'If health care leaders work to implement this important set of voluntary consensus standards, it will go a long way toward preventing medical errors and improving patient safety. This report, along with the findings from continuing patient safety research sponsored by AHRQ, will help make the nation's health care system a lot safer."
Further information: executive summaries of A Comprehensive Framework for Hospital Care Performance Evaluation and Safe Practices for Better Healthcare: It's Time to Act are available at: www.qualityforum.org